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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Some companies still don't get it

The Independent reports on what are actually shocking comments by Eric Schmidt, the Executive Chairman of Google when he suggested that his company’s contribution to the British economy was more important than paying its fair share of tax.

According to the paper, Mr. Schmidt defended Google's use of loopholes to minimise its UK tax bill. They say he insisted that Google would comply only with the letter of the law, despite paying only £6m of taxes on £2.6bn of revenue generated in the  UK in 2011. Apparently, Google uses anomalies in international law to move profits into low-tax jurisdictions even if they have been generated by business carried out in Britain:

“We are investing heavily in Britain,” he said. “We power literally billions of pounds of start-ups through advertising networks and so forth, and we’re a key part of the electronic commerce expansion of Britain, which is driving a lot of economic growth for the country. So from our perspective, I think, you have to look at it in a totality.

“The people we employ in Britain are certainly paying British taxes, and more importantly, they’re British citizens and they’re driving a lot of GDP. I think the most important thing to say about our taxes is that we fully comply with the law, and well, obviously, should the law change we’ll comply with that as well.”

However, MPs have pointed out that much of the investment in broadband internet infrastructure that has allowed Google to grow has been paid for by taxpayers. Clearly, the Government need to make their message clearer to Mr. Schmidt that he should pay his taxes.

If not the public may do so. I believe that Mr. Schmidt will be speaking at the Hay Festival. I have a ticket for that event as do many others. Perhaps we should direct the conversation onto taxation and social responsibility.
"Clearly, the Government need to make their message clearer to Mr. Schmidt that he should pay his taxes."

He does pay HIS taxes!
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